Ellen Clifford
October 21, 2015 11:33 am

My bff here in Los Angeles is a man. Based on when and how we met I’d never have guessed this would be the case. Life is beautifully weird like that.

Before I go any further, I’ll mention that he is straight, and I’ll address the question everyone always asks and the answer is no, we never slept together. Never ever. In a truly┬áLos Angeles way, we met when we were assigned to be scene partners for several weeks in an acting class. We had a scene that ended with us screaming angrily at each other. We would meet up during the week to rehearse, have fun yelling at each other, then go out to eat and talk. And so it began.

On the surface we don’t have a ton in common. I’m a girl from a city in the Midwest. He grew up in Mexico and more recently a small Texas town. He was pre-med in college. I studied theatre. But when we met we were then both just actors starting out in LA. We found out we share a dark sense of humor. We like to read. He eats as slowly as I do. We are loyal.

I always have liked having a similarly-aged males in my life. I grew up with a brother who always had his friends around the house. I have two male cousins. No other girls in the family. The company of males feels like home. Now I do improv, which means I spend an inordinate time with a lot of dudes. Although the scene for women in comedy is improving, in my experience plaid-clad males are still the majority on the scene.

It’s nice to have another perspective on the world. My bestie loves nothing more than to sit there placidly when I go into a longwinded story or rant. Then he simply says “did you say something?” And we laugh.

We talk about everything. He is spared no details of my life that some women would keep for their female friends. We discuss our sex lives.We know each others’ dark secrets. It’s kind of cool because if I have a question about the experience of being male I can ask and get an honest answer. I also sometimes seek his male insight into what is going on when I am having boy problems. And vice versa.

And how nice it is that I never feel any competition? We certainly are not going for the same acting roles, nor are we competing in the looks and romance categories. We may get competitive as hell about other things but they are silly things, like who got the better price on something. Our self-worth is not weighed against each other.

Of course, this brings me to the problem. I am beginning to feel like I’m never ever going to find a guy to have in my life in a romantic way. I am sure the fact that I am always with guys does not help the situation. I think maybe they see me as one of them. I surely don’t get chatted up in the same way at the bar. Now, in a way my bestie provides the things having a boyfriend would. We are good friends with an actual married couple and it’s like we are double dating them, except we’re not. We go out to eat, go to parties, see movies, and even have dinner with each other’s families. His mom gives me presents. We’re there for each other. And the men in my improv team are like a mass of protective brothers, if I am going to continue the familial metaphor.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I do well when my bestie is seeing someone. I’m used to being high on his priority card. It throws me for a loop when there is a girl who suddenly gets preferential treatment, or allotment of his time, over me.

And it’s tricky, too, when he has a new romantic interest. They need to make sure I’m not a threat, I suppose. I get where they are coming from. I mean, they have NOTHING to worry about, but I understand the instinct.

I haven’t had to deal with this too much. Both my bestie and I are pretty perpetually single. I don’t know how it will work when one of us settles down. But maybe I should just accept it for what it is: a good friendship that I wouldn’t give up. Someone who will be there for me unconditionally. That’s valuable. That’s a best friend.

[Image via CBS]

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